Presentation Title

Tag Resights and Surveys of the Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at Point Reyes National Seashore

Start Date

April 2020

End Date

April 2020

Major Field of Study

Biological Sciences

Second Major

Global Public Health

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Doreen Gurrola, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

In 2016, Dominican University of California (DUC) began collaborating with the National Park Service by surveying northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) in Marin County, CA. During the 2018-2019 breeding season, from January to April, a team of 6 students and a professor from DUC have continued this collaboration. After being hunted to near extinction during the 1800s, seals were first seen at PRNS during the 1970s. When the colony was re-established in the 1980s, PRNS researchers began collecting data and tagging weaned pups. Seals were observed hauling out year round at several sites near the Chimney Rock Headland. Recent years’ storms have shifted ratios of seal populations among surrounding beaches. Data on total number of seals at each haul out site, gender and age ratios, pup mortality, tag resights, and weather conditions are being collected weekly under PRNS permits. Surveyed locations include Drakes Beach, Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, South Beach, Lifeboat Station and Fish Docks. Using previous data collected by PRNS, the group compared 2019 results to previous seasons to create a life table that examines mortality and site fidelity.

Comments

This presentation was accepted for the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference at Dominican University of California. The Conference was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Apr 22nd, 10:00 AM Apr 22nd, 8:00 PM

Tag Resights and Surveys of the Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at Point Reyes National Seashore

In 2016, Dominican University of California (DUC) began collaborating with the National Park Service by surveying northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) in Marin County, CA. During the 2018-2019 breeding season, from January to April, a team of 6 students and a professor from DUC have continued this collaboration. After being hunted to near extinction during the 1800s, seals were first seen at PRNS during the 1970s. When the colony was re-established in the 1980s, PRNS researchers began collecting data and tagging weaned pups. Seals were observed hauling out year round at several sites near the Chimney Rock Headland. Recent years’ storms have shifted ratios of seal populations among surrounding beaches. Data on total number of seals at each haul out site, gender and age ratios, pup mortality, tag resights, and weather conditions are being collected weekly under PRNS permits. Surveyed locations include Drakes Beach, Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, South Beach, Lifeboat Station and Fish Docks. Using previous data collected by PRNS, the group compared 2019 results to previous seasons to create a life table that examines mortality and site fidelity.